3. J.C. Tretter, Center
The Browns offensive line has gotten a lot of attention, but the majority of that attention has not been good. That’s because three of their five spots in 2019 were major issues. Greg Robinson‘s play regressed from the season before and Chris Hubbard never lived up to the promise he had when Todd Haley convinced the team to bring in his former player from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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Then there was the issue at right guard. After John Dorsey traded away Kevin Zeitler, the Browns had a revolving door there. Austin Corbett was unable to take the job and they ended up going with Eric Kusch, Justin McCray, and Wyatt Teller. Of those three, Teller was the best option and will be back as a starter this season.
With all that talk going on, as well as this offseason’s additions at tackle taking center stage, it’s been easy to forget about the two solid starters they have had. Left guard Joel Bitonio and center J.C. Tretter have just quietly gone about their business and gotten their jobs done.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Tretter was even top-10 at his position. So why is he on this list? The answer isn’t so much his play as it is his injury concerns. It’s true that Tretter has not missed a start in his three seasons with Cleveland, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
He’s battled ankle and knee injuries over the past two seasons and was frequently playing despite not practicing during the week due to his injuries. While he’s proven his worth doing this and remaining effective, this could end up catching up to him, especially as he gets closer to 30.